Mayoral Column 10 November 2014

Published on 10 November 2014

Caption for picture: Council’s swimming pools open for the summer months.

Loddon keeps sports grounds alive

Sporting grounds are an integral part of the Loddon community, and that is why the Shire is proud to fund the allocation of water to keep the Inglewood and Wedderburn sporting communities alive.

In Loddon, we recognise that sport is important for every community’s social wellbeing.

The Wedderburn and Inglewood sporting clubs have relied heavily on the Skinners Flat and Inglewood Reservoir to provide an affordable water supply to maintain grass sports surfaces.

Unfortunately these water supplies are both exhausted, meaning the sporting clubs will rely on more expensive water from the Coliban system to maintain their playing surfaces.

The venues affected in Wedderburn are Donaldson Park and Market Square, and in Inglewood it’s the Sports Centre. Together they will be up for $2167 per mega litre from the Coliban system, a vast difference from the $450 per mega litre paid for Skinners Flat and Inglewood Reservoir water.

Based on the estimated water usage at the facilities, this excess cost will significantly impact the clubs’ ability to maintain grass playing surfaces to an acceptable level.

Councillors voted at the October meeting to subsidise the $1717 per mega litre difference at both recreation reserves.

The total cost to Council is estimated at $32,907, a worthy investment into our sporting community.

As a councillor, I am proud to say that the funding will assist the Wedderburn bowls, tennis, hockey, football and cricket clubs along with the Inglewood football and tennis clubs to keep their grounds meeting safety standards during the summer period.

Residents can access road maintenance information

Residents now have access to information on the planned maintenance grading and capital projects for all local roads.

The Loddon Shire has made the information available to the broader community to enable residents to search for a particular road, which Council is responsible for, and view any programmed works for the financial year.

The information will also state when road works are likely to be completed, and will be updated to include new projects as they arise.

Each job or grading activity has been scheduled across the four quarters of the year.

It is possible works could be delayed or brought forward in the notional program.

Weather conditions, high priority unplanned works, seasonal demands, flood or storm damage, equipment breakdowns and special events could impact work schedules.

If you wish to view any scheduled Loddon Shire Council road maintenance, visit the Council website, www.loddon.vic.gov.au, and click on ‘Search for capital and road grading works’ located on the right-hand side drop-down menu under ‘I want to’.

I encourage all residents to take advantage of the available information on the Loddon Shire website.

Pools open for the summer  

Council’s five swimming pools are set to come to life, with four of the pools opening this week. (Nov 15)

Wedderburn, Inglewood, Boort and Pyramid Hill open this Saturday, with the Mitiamo pool scheduled to open on Saturday, 6 December.

The pools will remain open until the Labour Day long weekend on Monday, 9 March.

The Wedderburn, Inglewood, Boort and Pyramid Hill pools will be open between 3.30pm and 7pm Monday to Friday during school terms and between 2pm and 7pm during school holidays. Mitiamo pool will be open between 4.30pm and 8pm Monday to Friday during school terms and 2pm and 7pm during school holidays. On weekends, all pools will open between 2pm and 7pm.

The Loddon Shire public swimming pools will only open if the forecast temperature is above 23 degrees, which is based on the forecast for Echuca and obtained from the Bureau of Meteorology at 6pm the previous day.

The hours that accumulate from the days that pools are not open will be used so that the pools can be opened for longer periods on hotter days when the demand is greater.

All pools will be closed on Christmas Day.

Pool opening hours are at the discretion of management and may vary, depending on weather and maintenance.

Entry fees for the season: family, $103, adult, $62 and a child, $41. Casual passes are available for $8.50 for a family, $3.30 for an adult and $2.10 for a child. All non-swimmers are charged $1.10 per entry.

For further information visit Council’s website, www.loddon.vic.gov.au.

Council adopts Transitioning Towns Toolbox

In 2013 Loddon Shire Council supported the development of a challenging project to assist planning for small towns in the regions and their future sustainability.

The result of that work – the Transitioning Towns Toolbox - is a practical and evidence based guide to assist small communities and local government in future planning.

Small towns are an important feature of the wider Loddon Mallee region, where more than 84 per cent of communities have a population of less than 3000 people.

In Loddon Shire each of the major towns has less than a 1000 people and even smaller district centres provide a central point for farming communities.

Loddon Shire is very experienced in community planning having provided a framework for engagement, participation and investment for more than 10 years.

In the Shire we have some active plans, and other plans are at the end of their life and ready for renewal.

The Transitioning Towns Toolbox will assist communities to understand the changes happening in and around the towns and the opportunities to meet these head on.

The toolbox was developed with support from the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee, as part of a regional priority to strengthen communities and small towns from Gisborne through to Mildura.

The toolbox is an important resource to assist communities, groups and local government to work together and actively plan for transition or development, and the sustainable future of our towns.

The toolbox is available to view at www.loddonmallee.com.au/toolbox.

Inglewood Pool receives financial boost

Loddon will benefit from a funding boost which will see its Inglewood Pool receive major upgrades.

The pool will become Loddon’s first universally accessible pool with the investment of $117,381 from the government’s Seasonal Pool Program and $63,691 from Council.

The upgrade will aid in access to and from the pool, improve the kiosk servery, car park, toddler pool, toilet and change room facilities.

The upgrades are expected to lift patron numbers by eliminating physical barriers experienced by the elderly and people with a disability.

The project’s aim is to enable all residents to access their local community pool and weekly physiotherapy and exercise sessions.

The Inglewood Pool upgrade will ensure residents do not need to travel outside of Loddon to participate in pool sessions, and will aid and improve the community’s social connections.

Extensive community consultation was undertaken and included potential pool user groups.

Inglewood and Districts Health Service has already listed its interest in utilising the pool’s facilities to provide opportunities and access programs to the community.

This project will provide a great resource for Inglewood.

The upgrades will begin in March, after the 2014/2015 pool season.